With much having changed in the World of enduro during the two most recent instalments of the ISDE in France, the popularity of the ISDE remains stronger than ever with more than eight hundred riders taking to the start of this year’s event. With nineteen FIM World Trophy teams entered, sixteen FIM Junior World Trophy teams and nine FIM Women’s World trophy teams, in addition more than five hundred riders have signed up to compete in the Club team competition, with no fewer than one hundred and sixty-six representing home nation France.
The longest running FIM sanctioned event, there were notable changes at the top of the results last year. With Australia securing a hat-trick of class wins in Slovakia in 2015 with victory in the FIM World Trophy, FIM Junior World Trophy and FIM Women’s World trophy, the ninety-first edition in Spain saw the USA make history by claiming their first ever World Trophy class win. Kailub Russell – KTM, Ryan Sipes – Husqvarna, Layne Michel – Husqvarna and Taylor Robert – KTM, who also topped the event’s overall individual classification, finally put the USA at the top of the iconic event’s illustrious list of winning World Trophy teams.
Set to defend their World Trophy title, team USA return to the ISDE with arguably the strongest four-rider team in the competition. With Taylor Robert – KTM, Thad Duvall – Husqvarna and Kailub Russell – KTM once again teaming up with Ryan Sipes – Husqvarna, the American quartet will face strong competition from France, Australia, Italy and Spain.
Out to claim a third successive World Trophy team victory on home soil having won in Mend in 1988 and Brive in 2001, France will be focused on nothing but victory. Despite the fact that it’s now three years since they last topped the FIM World Trophy team results, since 2008 France have claimed no fewer than six victories with this year’s squad of Christophe Nambotin – KTM, Loic Larrieu – Yamaha, Jeremy Tarroux – Sherco and Christophe Charlier – Husqvarna looking to add to that tally.
Leading France’s World Trophy team will be Christophe Nambotin – KTM. The former multiple FIM Enduro World Champion and two-time ISDE overall fastest competitor is the most experienced member of France’s squad having been a key member of no fewer than five of France’s six most recent World Trophy team victories.
Despite making last minute changes to their team, Sweden enter this year’s ISDE with high hopes of a repeat Junior World Trophy victory. With just forty-five seconds separating Sweden from runners-up the USA last year in Spain, Albin Elowson – Husqvarna, Mikael Persson – Yamaha and newcomer Joakim Grelsson – KTM will be hoping that once again they can do just enough to secure class victory.
Italy is another nation looking for top honours in the Junior World Trophy team competition, which has seen four different countries claim the top spot during the last four years. Filling the third step of the podium in Spain last year, Davide Soreca – Honda, Andrea Verona – TM and Matteo Cavallo – Beta take to the start in Brive following a full year of FIM Enduro World Championship competition.
Returning to the event with an unchanged Women’s World Trophy team, Australia’s winning trio of Tayla Jones – Husqvarna, Jessica Gardiner – Yamaha and Jemma Wilson – Yamaha start this year’s event as clear favourites for victory. Dominating in recent years and having competed together as a team at four previous ISDE competitions, Australia’s Women’s squad is filled with experience, youthfulness and determination and will go up against eight other teams in the Women’s competition.
The 2017 ISDE takes place in Brive, France from 28 August to 2 September.